Harley refuses to point finger of blame at takeover uncertainty

Jon Harley in action against Notts County on Saturday
Jon Harley in action against Notts County on Saturday

Jon Harley is adamant the ongoing takeover uncertainty has had no impact on the Pompey players’ performances.

A run of three consecutive defeats has plunged Michael Appleton’s men into the League One relegation zone to cap a poor start to the campaign.

In the background, the club remain in administration and hindered by squad size restrictions.

The ownership situation now appears to be on the way to being resolved, with Portpin set to be confirmed as administrators PKF’s preferred bidders, beating off the Pompey Supporters’ Trust challenge.

Yet the precise timescale when that can be completed remains unknown.

In the meantime, there have been a string of deeply-disappointing results produced by Appleton’s much-changed squad.

The latest was a dreadful showing at Notts County at the weekend, slumping to a 3-0 defeat to knock them down to 21st in the table.

Not that Harley is allowing the takeover to be tabled as a reason for the Blues players’ below-par displays.

The left-back said: ‘The takeover is something we are going to talk about from time to time because it is there and there is so much uncertainty around the club but we knew the situation when we signed and it didn’t deter anyone.

‘We wanted to sign for Portsmouth. It is a big club and where we all want to be. We all knew the situation when we came.

‘We can’t use it as an excuse just because we are not playing well and not winning games.

‘Obviously, if something could get sorted out it would be a big weight off everyone in and around the club – staff, players, fans, everyone. But that is not an excuse and it should not go down as an excuse just because results aren’t going our way.

‘The takeover situation is out of our hands, we can’t control anything there.

‘From a personal point of view, it is not something for me to spend too much time on. There is nothing I can do.

‘We came here wanting to sign for a fantastic club like Portsmouth. It is what we all wanted to do. So we can’t just start using the takeover scenario as an excuse.’

He may not be able to influence the takeover, nonetheless Harley acknowledges he has been following developments closely.

As with all the players currently at Fratton Park, the 32-year-old is on a month-by-month contract.

And, unquestionably, the future of Pompey remains central to his long-term stay at the football club. Harley added: ‘I’m one of those who does keep an eye out on what is going on.

‘For a start, I follow Neil Allen on Twitter! I also read the local paper to see what is happening – and it’s a different story every day at the moment.

‘We (the players) do talk about it and it is difficult but it is something we have just got to get on with.

‘It shouldn’t stop us putting in a good performance on a Saturday. We’re all different. We have all got a different take on it but we knew exactly what we were getting into and I still wouldn’t change it for the world.

‘I want to be here and I want to be winning games here.

‘The only way we can do that is by putting in the hard work on the training ground and, hopefully, we will get the rewards on the Saturday.’